Rob Jones, the producer working on the NBA 2K franchise at Visual Concepts, believes that the series can continue to move closer to real-life basketball, while also appealing to those who love more arcade-minded experiences.
Speaking to VG247, the developer says that a deeper simulation will only emphasize the incredible skill of some real-world players.
He states, “LeBron makes it look like it’s an arcade game. You’re sitting there watching players like him and you’re like, ‘Might as well be a videogame.’ That’s the way we feel about it, he’s playing with them like we would do in the videogame. I think that basketball lends itself to being a kind of arcade-feeling game. It’s our job as developers to actually make it feel more sim-like.”
Jones adds, “It’s about teetering that line between those players and our most ardent fans. The guys that come back every year love the simulation side of it.”
NBA 2K13 has managed to sell more than 5 million copies worldwide since it was launched, earlier in 2012.
The game tweaked the core gameplay of the series by allowing players to use the right stick on their controller to pull off impressive moves and by introducing more options for both the offensive and defensive phases.
NBA 2K13 also benefited from the fact that hip-hop superstar Jay-Z was one of the executive producers, creating a custom soundtrack for the game and collaborating with Visual Concepts in order to upgrade the presentation.
The series has also done well because it lacked AAA quality competition during the last two years, after publisher Electronic Arts decided to cancel the launch of its new Elite basketball video game because of quality concerns.
EA has suggested that it will launch a rival for the NBA 2K series from Take Two, during the coming year.